This is more than just a coastal resort getaway. Somehow Puerto Vallarta -- also known as "Vallarta" or just "PV" -- maintains a small-town ambience, while still boasting one of the most unique and sophisticated oceanfronts in Mexico. The dining options and the hotel choices reflect more of the same -- you'll find both elegance and efficiency mingled together within the hotel and restaurant areas.
The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between April and June, when the weather is pleasant and the room rates are affordable. At that time there isn't as much rain as the cheapest season in PV (July to September), plus there aren't as many tourists as you'll see at the end of the year. If you're interested in whale watching, however, visit from January to March. Just prepare yourself for the area's most astronomical travel fares.